The Dragon And The Woman

Revelation 12

We have been studying Revelation and by the time we came to the end of the eleventh chapter, we came to the end of the world. We came to the time when Jesus has already come again, yet we have eleven more chapters of Revelation. What happens? In the first eleven chapters we have seen the conflict between the church and those who are persecuting and opposing it in this world. As we come to chapter 12, we are going to look into the background of all of this. We are looking at what is behind all of this. There is a greater struggle taking place behind the scenes that accounts for the troubles that the church has in the world.

We are going back to the time when Jesus first came into our world. We are going to eventually see Jesus coming again. In Revelation, we see a recapitulation. We see God dealing with His people from Christ's first coming until his second coming. This will be seen from several perspectives as we work our way through the book of Revelation. There are many diverse interpretations and radically different views of what the book of Revelation is all about, largely due to misunderstanding of the basic nature of the book. There are those that hold to a continuous historical interpretation of Revelation. They assume that Revelation is a prophesy of that which was to occur, in sequence from the time John wrote this book until the end of time.

By the time they are in the eleventh chapter of Revelation, they have moved historically up to the time of the Roman emperor, Constantine, or into the fourth or fifth centuries. But, they have a horrible time dealing with chapter twelve because, very clearly, chapter twelve is telling us about the birth of Jesus and about His ascension into heaven. But, it just does not fit there, historically. So, Revelation is forced into an unnatural structure. I believe we must allow Revelation to interpret itself, to form its own framework for interpretation.

There are those who say that all of Revelation has been fulfilled. Those who take the preterit's view of Revelation, believe that Revelation was something that was written for its own time, for the first century, or, at best, the first two, three or


four centuries. They believe it is dealing in a historical way with events taking place in the first century; or the first few centuries after Christ. There are those who say that everything in the book of Revelation has already, centuries ago, been fulfilled and there is nothing of the future to be found in Revelation. There are those who say that Revelation is not even talking about the second coming of Christ, and that it does not say anything about the eternal reward of the righteous. They say it was all fulfilled and came to a climax when the pagan Roman Empire fell. Those who hold that view do so largely because in the first and last chapters of Revelation, there are statements that this book is telling us about things which must “shortly come to pass.”

There is almost an obsession with the word “shortly,” as though everything in the book has to take place in a very, very brief period of time. And yet, Revelation 12:12 says, “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.” The same word is used here to say that the devil has a “short” time, yet he has been at work for nineteen hundred years or more already, ever since Jesus came the first time. But, to get around that problem, one writer who takes this view said in his commentary that, actually, none of the time symbols in Revelation have anything to do with time! He says the 1,260 days, three and a half years and 42 months; the time, times and half a time have really nothing to do with time. Yet, after having said that, it is argued that “shortly” means a period of just a few hundred years. There is a strange inconsistency in all of this and I think that many have forced Revelation into a very strange bed. They have demanded, on the basis of a word here or there, or a preconception about what the book is supposed to do, how it should be interpreted.

I have spent little time in presenting to you what I believe Revelation is saying to deal with alternative interpretations. I believe, as we read Revelation and see what light some of the other portions of scripture shed on the book, it comes out very naturally making itself reasonably clear to us. As we go along, I believe the other points of view can be see, against the background of this, as being simply inadequate and really not providing us with the great encouragement and inspiration that


the book of Revelation is designed to give to our lives. Certainly, it is designed to bring comfort to the people of God, as all interpreters agree. It says to God's people that if you are faithful until death, you will be victorious. Therefore, let us be faithful and let us endure.

We come now to the twelfth chapter of Revelation, which speaks of “ "The Dragon and the Woman.” I believe this marks a major division in the book. Chapters one through eleven are one section and chapters twelve through twenty–two form the second major section of the book. Read Revelation 12:1–2: “Now a great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.” Verse 5 says, “She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and to His throne.”

If we just took these two verses, we might be inclined to think of this, as the Roman Catholic Church has more traditionally interpreted it. They say it refers to Mary because it does clearly speak of the birth of Jesus Christ and, obviously, the woman who gave birth to Jesus Christ was Mary. So, one might conclude at once that we are seeing here a mention of Mary under the term of a woman. But, as we read all that this chapter has to say about this woman, Mary simply cannot fit. This woman is described as accomplishing far more things that could be explained in terms of Mary. If we will allow the Bible to explain itself, I believe we will come to an understanding of who the woman is, or we miss the entire point of this chapter.

Who is the woman? She is “... a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.” There is one place in the Bible which, I think, serves as the background for this particular symbol. Genesis 37:9–10 speaks of Joseph and says, “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’ He told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, ‘What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before


you?’ ” Let us pause and think about this for a moment. Here is Joseph. He has a dream. He dreams about the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowing down before him. Joseph's father was Jacob. Remember that Jacob was the one whose name was changed to Israel, and Israel is the one who has the 12 sons. Eleven are mentioned here. Joseph is the twelfth. And, Jacob understands what is being implied by the dream. He, Israel, is represented by the Sun and his wife, Rachel, and the eleven sons of Israel are represented by the moon and eleven stars in the dream.

What do we have here? We have the sun and the moon and the stars as a beautiful representation of the people of Israel. What are we seeing? In the symbol that is used in Revelation 12:1–2, where we see a woman arrayed with the sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, I believe, is simply a rearranging of the symbolism that is found in Joseph's dream. I wonder what better symbolism could you use to represent Israel than a woman surrounded by these objects. In much of the art that is found associated with the Roman Catholic Church, you will see pictures of Mary arrayed with the sun and the moon under her feet and a crown with twelve stars. This perpetuates the notion that Mary is referred to here. But, in reality, what we are seeing is the people of God spoken of in terms of a woman, a woman specifically who cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.

I want you to understand that, in addition to this, the Old Testament frequently portrays Israel as a woman who is about to give birth. This provides additional reasons for believing that the symbolism in Revelation pertaining to the woman giving birth has reference to Israel. Let me show you just three examples, out of several that could be given, in the Old Testament. Let us go to Isaiah 26:17: “As a woman with child is in pain and cries out in her pangs, when she draws near the time of her delivery, so have we been in Your sight, O Lord.”

Now turn to Isaiah 66:7–8: “Before she traveled, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she gave birth to her children.”


Turn and read Micah 5:2–3: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.” Here, in very specific and pointed terms, Micah refers to the birth of Jesus Christ. Matthew 2:4–6 refers to this prophecy of Micah as to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. It is the fulfillment of this prophecy of Micah. Out of Judah one is being born. Israel is giving birth to a child and that is precisely what we are seeing in Revelation, chapter twelve. The nation of Israel is that which eventually brought forth the Messiah, the Christ, into the world.

There is an interesting transformation that occurs in the symbolism of the woman in Revelation twelve. However, it refers to more than simply the Israel of the old covenant. It comes to take on the larger significance, as Israel continually does in the book of Revelation. It includes not only the people of the old covenant, but also God's people in the new covenant.

At the end of the book of Galatians, Paul speaks of Christians as the Israel of God. Throughout the New Testament, God's people who are Christians, followers of Christ, are spoken of over and over again as the true circumcision, the seed of Abraham. Abraham was the one who not only was the father of fleshly Israel, but was also the father of spiritual Israel, which includes all those who are faithful to God and to Jesus Christ, His Son. So, initially, we see the woman in Revelation as giving birth to the Christ and then we see, later on, the other seed of the woman (Revelation 12:17) as being the ones who are followers of the Christ. So, the woman is a symbol for all of God's people under the old covenant and under the new covenant.

Let us continue with Revelation 12:3: “And another sight appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.” In chapter thirteen, we are going to go into a discussion of the significance of the seven heads and the ten horns and the seven diadems, or crowns, upon the heads. We are going to see a beast coming up out of the sea that has these things in common with the dragon. We believe it will be easier at that time to


explain the significance of the seven heads and the ten horns and the seven diadems.

Let us continue with verse 4: “His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born?” Now, who is the dragon? Revelation twelve explains itself in unmistakable terms as to who the dragon is. Verse nine says, “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Then, in the latter part of verse ten, he is described as “... the accuser of our brethren, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” So, the dragon is the devil, Satan. What is Satan doing? Satan is shown in verse 4 as standing before the woman who is about to be delivered, so, when she is delivered, he may devour her Child. This is precisely what Satan did when Jesus came into the world—when He was born in Bethlehem, Satan did all he could to try to see that Jesus was destroyed. He had all of the male babies killed by Herod in hope that that would get rid of Jesus. But, that did not work because Jesus was taken down into Egypt. At least he made the effort at the very beginning to destroy Jesus.

Verse five says: “She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.” Virtually all commentators on Revelation agree the child is Jesus Christ, but there are few, here and there, who have tried to explain that in some other way. The picture is so clear that it hardly needs explanation. Let me, at least for the sake of the record, show you why we know for certain that when we look at the Child we are seeing Jesus Christ. We go back to the Old Testament background again, back to Psalm 2:7–9 which says, “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance and the end of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.” This is a Messianic Psalm, that is, a Psalm prophesying concerning the Christ. We know that because in Hebrews 1:5, the writer quotes from that particular Psalm, the part we have read in Verses 7–9, and applies it to


Jesus. He says, “For to which of the angels did He ever say: ‘You are My Son. Today I have begotten You?’ ”

Here we are seeing Jesus Christ clearly revealed to us. We can see that also, because in Revelation 12:10, when finally He is caught up to heaven, to the throne, John said, “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come.” Jesus has ascended into heaven and He has ascended with all authority. In Revelation 19:13–15, we see the connection made as we see the concept of His ruling with a rod of iron presented: “He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” Surely, that is unmistakably referring to Jesus. Read John 1:1 and 14 which says, “ in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Now, back to Revelation 19:14–15: “And the armies in heaven clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Almighty God.” So, Jesus is seen in verse 4 and 5, and verse 5 says, “She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.” We saw back in Revelation chapter 5, the Lamb that had been slain coming to the throne and there He is spoken of as having received authority and dominion and power and there was given to Him a kingdom and the people in the kingdom reigned with Him on earth. Here, also, we see Christ having been caught up to the throne.

Recently, Jehovah's Witnesses came by my house as I was preparing some of my thoughts in writing this chapter, and I thought, “This will be an interesting opportunity to try out some of this.” So, I invited them in and they began, of course, as they always do, talking about the kingdom. I told them, “You know, that is just what I am studying about here in Revelation 12.” They were trying to say that the kingdom has not come yet; we are looking forward to the kingdom. “Well,” I said, “this is where we disagree, because as I understand the


scripture, Paul said in Colossians 1:13, that we have been delivered out of the power of darkness, into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Paul says we are already in the kingdom. We are citizens of the kingdom of God." Then, they said, “We believe that Jesus is the King, but He does not have a kingdom yet.” They wanted me to go back to Daniel 2, so we turned back to Daniel 2:44 where it speaks of the fact that in the days of the kings of the fourth kingdom, which is the Roman Empire, God would set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. They tried to say that is something yet to come. But, the fourth kingdom, as we pointed out, was the Roman Empire. Then, I suggested we go to Daniel 7:13, because there we can see that not only is Jesus King, but He also has a kingdom.

We turned and read: “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven!” and I said, “Is not the Son of Man, Jesus?” They said, “Yes.” I continued reading, “He came to the Ancient of Days.” And I said, “Is that God the Father?” They said, “Yes.” I continued, “And they brought Him near before Him.” I asked, “When did Jesus ascend to the Ancient of Days with the clouds?” They acknowledged that it was in His ascension to heaven which the Bible records in Acts 1. All right, “What happened when He ascended to heaven?”

Notice verses 14–15: “Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” I said, “Does it not say that he was given a kingdom when he ascended to heaven? Did that not happen a long time ago?” They replied, “Yes, but we believe that Jesus is going to yet come and set up a kingdom.” I said, “Wait a minute. I know that is what you believe, but what does the Bible say? Did it not say what I was saying, that He set up a kingdom?"

They said, “ Well, yes.” So, we moved on to another point. Now, that was what Revelation is trying to explain to us, that Jesus ascended to the throne of God and there was given to Him authority, and the kingdom of our God has come. It is now here. We move to Revelation 12:6: “Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that


they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” I believe we have already established from lesson eleven that this period of 1,260 days refers to that period from the time the church began until the time when Jesus is going to come again. Then, that would not apply to Mary.

This woman is not Mary. Mary is still not living through the entire period, but the church is. That is the whole point. The woman represents the church. Throughout scripture, the church and the people of God are spoken of under the terms of woman. Remember the bride of Christ. You have a great chapter, Ephesians 5, where you have a discussion of the husband and wife which is really speaking of Christ and His church, the church being the bride of Christ. So, we have here the church under the figure of a woman who fled into the wilderness where she has a place prepared of God. We are going to see more about the wilderness later.

There is a pause now in Revelation 12:7–9: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

As we go back to the gospel account, Jesus speaks in terms of Satan being cast out. I believe if we will look at these references and also what is said in Revelation, that we will see a consistent picture presented to us. First, go to Luke 10. Remember in Luke 10, Jesus had sent out the seventy, two–by–two, to begin to preach the gospel of the kingdom. They went out and they came back excited because demons had been cast out in the name of Christ.

Notice Luke 10:17–20: “ Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name,’ And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’ ”


Jesus says, in response to the missionary activity of the seventy, their proclamation of the gospel message, the good news of the kingdom of God, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” I think he saw that in the same way that the prophets of old saw the coming of the Christ. They would often speak in the past tense of something was yet to occur. And, I think that Jesus is speaking in anticipation of something because, as we turn to John 12:31–33, Jesus says, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die. Jesus speaks of His death, and in connection with His death, He speaks of Satan being cast out.”

We move to Matthew 12:28–29, where Jesus speaks of the binding of the strong man. He is referring to Satan because there had been the casting out of demons, and the Pharisees had accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub. So, in verses 28–29, Jesus said, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or else how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.”

When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, He had once and for all conquered the power of Satan. It was as good as done from the foundation of the world. In reality and actuality, the time in which it occurred was at the cross and the resurrection and the ascension into heaven when Jesus finally sat down at the right hand of God and began to rule and to reign. Then it was that Satan was cast out and that is the picture we are seeing in Revelation 12. Let me give you just a couple more references to solidify the point and make it clear. In I Peter 3:21–22, Peter said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.” The subjection of the authorities and powers and angels is in connection with His going into heaven. Notice in Ephesians 6:12 the task that is before each of us as Christians, followers of Christ. “For we do not wrestle against


flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Now, turn to Colossians 2:13–15, Paul says, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

Our wrestling is against principalities and powers, but when Jesus died on the cross He triumphed over them. He ascended to heaven and Satan was cast out, which means the victory is ours. Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; it is against the principalities and powers that Jesus has triumphed over. We, as His people, then, are victors. The battle has been won through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We come to the magnificent passage in Hebrews 2:14–15 that pulls all of this together. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” As children of God, we are no longer in bondage. Satan does not have us bound. Christ has bound Satan and we are now able to overcome the principalities and powers, the world rulers of this darkness because of the death of Jesus through which He brought the power of Satan to naught.

And, so, there is a beautiful message in all of this for God's people which says that victory is ours because Jesus, through His death, His burial, His resurrection and His ascension into heaven has overcome Satan. He is cast out, he is bound, and when we get to Revelation 20, we will see more about that. Satan can no longer keep you in bondage because his power has been broken.

Go back to Revelation 12:10: “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come.’ ”


Remember when Jesus rose from the dead He said, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” And so, when He is called up to the throne of God, the voice says, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come.

We are in the kingdom now. It began when Jesus sat down on the right hand of God and began to reign and to rule on the day of Pentecost. He will reign and rule until all of His enemies are put under His feet. Then, according to I Corinthians 15:24, He will deliver the kingdom too the Father. Jesus will protect you who have confessed His name. He will confess you before the Father who is in heaven.

Victory is ours, for, as Revelation 12:10 continues: “... for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” Satan has no way in which he can defend his accusation against you. Who can lay anything to the charge of God's elect? In Romans 8:31, Paul said, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Certainly not Satan.

Notice Revelation 12:11: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” We overcame. Why? Because of the blood of the Lamb, because Jesus Christ shed His blood on Calvary and because of “the word of their testimony.” It is because we carry forth the message of salvation and “ they loved not their life even to death.”

We simply count our life as nothing. And so, Paul says in Romans 12:1: “... present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” We are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is not because of our own merits, but because of the merit of Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself up for us.

In I Peter 1:18–19, we see Peter expressing the same idea when he says, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from you aimless conduct received by tradition from you fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”


And then, in Revelation 1:5, John spoke, “And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”

Then, there is a great passage in Hebrews 9:14 which says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The blood of Christ cleanses our conscience. That is what Peter was trying to say to us, and he connects baptism to all of that. In I Peter 3:21, he says, “... which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” That is why Ananias said to Saul in Acts 22:16, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” In the act of baptism, your sins are washed away because of the blood of Jesus Christ. That precious blood that He shed on the cross has been applied to you to cleanse your conscience.

Now, we continue in Revelation 12:12: “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” His time is limited. God is one day going to cast Satan into the lake of fire and brimstone. We continue in 12:13: “Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” What a beautiful picture is given to us of the woman who is brought into the wilderness and nourished. It reminds us of that great passage in Exodus 19:4, where God said of Israel: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.”

Jesus is shown as carrying the church into the wilderness on wings of eagles, that the church might be protected from the harm that Satan would bring. Yes, there is persecutions, but there is protection, the same things that we saw in chapter 11. Revelation 12 continues in verses 15–17: “So the serpent


spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.” We have no exact parallel anywhere else in scripture, but the figure seems to me rather clear because here the dragon is spouting our of his mouth water to destroy. What is it that can come out of the mouth of Satan to destroy the people of God?

Satan has three major weapons that are revealed to us in Revelation. There is persecution, there is seduction, and there is deception. What comes out of the mouth? Deception. And the stream that comes out of the mouth of Satan is a stream of lies and falsehood that only the people of the earth, that is worldly people who are bound to his earth, swallow down whole. The acceptance of these falsehoods and delusions of Satan makes a clear distinction between the people of God and the people of the world.

The chapter concludes with verse 17: “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring.” Who is that? Those “... who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Yes, Satan is going to fight you. He could not destroy the Christ. He could not destroy the church. He is trying to destroy you, but the message of Revelation 12 is that Satan is a loser. Satan tried to defeat Jesus on earth and he failed. Satan tried to defeat Jesus in heaven and failed. He has tried to defeat the whole church and he has failed. The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Finally, he tries to destroy you, and the message of Revelation is that if you are faithful to Jesus, He can not do it. Victory is yours!

What a tremendous scene is painted for us by God through John in Revelation. Victory for the people of God! Why not become one of the victors, one of the winners, one of God's people? You need to believe in Jesus, trust in Him. Repent of your sins. Confess your faith in Him. Allow His precious blood to cleanse you from your sins as you are buried with Him in the water of baptism, that you might rise into new life having had the bondage of sin broken and having the opportunity of living eternally with God.